December 7, 2016 / 4:57 PM / a year ago

Diamond League gets championship-style makeover

(Reuters) - The Diamond League will have two end-of-season finals with a prize pool of $3.2 million following changes to the structure of the competition announced by the International Association of Athletics’ Federations (IAAF) on Wednesday.

Athletics - IAAF Athletics Diamond League meeting Zurich - Letzigrund stadium, Zurich, Switzerland - 1/9/2016 - Athletes compete in the 5000m men race. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Under the new format, athletes will earn points in the first 12 league meetings of the season to qualify for the finals in Zurich or Brussels, where $100,000 will be up for grabs in each of the 32 disciplines, including $50,000 for each winner.

Athletes who finish second in their respective disciplines will earn $20,000 each, with $10,000 awarded for third place, effectively turning the season into a championship-style race to reach the finals, which will each feature 16 events.

Previously, the winners in each of the disciplines were decided by how many points they accumulated during the season, irrespective of whether they won the final event.

“After seven seasons which have established the IAAF Diamond League as our premier circuit it is important to assess its impact and build for the future,” IAAF president and the league’s chairman Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

“These decisions are the first step to growing the attractiveness of the series.”

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris

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